• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Sunday, July 30, 2006


    river closures
    Forest At Stage 1
    New License Plates
    .. Emergency river closures have been announced by Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks. The good folks at Four Rivers Fishing Co. will be affected.

    .. The U.S. Forest Service has announced emergency Stage 1 restrictions and closures for the Gallatin National Forest.


    <- Bechler River

    .. Our neighbors, the packer/outfitters returned from the southwest corner of Yellowstone National Park with anemia, welts, sunburn, devastating thirst, and glowing reports of the fishing opportunities.
    .. Although most of our neighbors wait until fall and the first freeze has put down the flies and mosquitoes; visitors frequently endure the summer hazards for a glimpse of this wild & beautiful corner of Yellowstone.
    .. The Hayden Party named the river after their surveyor Gustavus R. Bechler. The Bechler & Falls River were fishless at the time because Bechler Falls and Cave Falls served as barriers. The Bechler/Falls River basin is beautiful because of it's variety. Open meadows are scattered between narrow canyons and heavy forest.

    <- Bechler Meadows .. By 1891 Cutthroat Trout had been planted, and today there is a healthy population of Rainbow x Cutthroat "Cutbow" hybrids.

    <- Hot Spring Riffle

    .. This corner of Yellowstone is out-of-the-way. It doesn't have roads that connect to the "Grand Loop," and it is second only to the Thoroughfare region in remoteness - the fishing pressure is therefore light. Walking or riding is required to explore this area. Just about everywhere that there is water - there is good fishing.

    <- Confluence of Bechler & Falls Rivers

    .. It is best to plan to visit the Bechler basin in the Fall. The fish are at their best, the bugs are less ferocious, and the hot springs at rivers edge are inviting.
    .. Unless you are an accomplished back country hiker it is best to visit the Bechler region with a guide and outfitter. Day trips for fishing are rewarding, and like most back country destinations in Yellowstone - the farther you walk - the better it is.
    .. It is important to have a good map if you fish near the park boundary because the waters wend their way across the border several times.

    .. The Bechler River is fishing very well, thank you. Early morning is producing prolific hatches of Trico's along with an excellent spinner fall. There are still little yellow stone flies in the riffles, and an assortment of caddis. The light pressure means that the hungry hybrids are taking nymphs on the surface film, and nymphs down in the water col.
    .. The Trico's are about size 16, nymphs are in the range of 10 - 18. Right now the rivers and tributaries can be fished with a small and generalized assemblage of fles. Bechler Meadows is beginning to be invaded by large grasshoppers. Use sizes 6 - 12 depending on the ones that you see. We always fish size 10 -12 mosquitoes in the Bechler region. There is just a modicum of satisfaction in this endeavor.

    <- Falls River at the confluence

    .. The Falls River is producing hybrids to 16" on olive or black Wooly Worms, (size 8 - 12,) drifted through the large pockets in the giant riffle and run sections.
    .. The evening on both rivers is a magic time right now. The caddis hatch starts late, (about 8:30 PM,) and persists until after dark. There are also egg-laying caddis in the morning until about 10:30 or 11:00 AM. The sizes for these caddis is 10 -12, and a light body will produce best.
    .. Obsidian Creek is fishing very well. This bait fishery is generally thought of as a "Children's River," but the fish are taking size 8 elk hair caddis all day. Expect fish to 12" with little finesse or effort.
    .. The Gibbon River just below Gibbon Falls has been productive in the evening. Fish after 7:00 PM, and expect to take fish up to 14" on your favorite caddis imitation. The first big bend after the old picnic area is fishing well to dry's at dusk - size 14 - 16 spinners will work both places.
    .. The Madison River has a couple of good evening fishing spots. Small dark caddis are hatching near the talus slope turn out, (size 14 - 16,) and the same is true at the lower end of 9-mile hole. Lots of Mountain Whitefish are in the water around the Barns Holes. If you fish nymphs in the evenings here be prepared to enjoy this Yellowstone native.

    .. Are Invasive Species a threat to home land security? Researchers at Carnegie Melon University and the Smithsonian Institution are spearheading consulting projects for the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) analyzing the contents of insect traps set around America's largest ports of entry in order to determine how threatening some of the creepy crawlies coming into the U.S. just might be.
    Read it HERE & HERE.
    .. The "Spiney Waterflea" has been found in Rainey Lake in Wisconsin. LINK.
    .. A fish kill at La Crosse, Wisconsin has initially been attributed to Bass Virus. LINK.
    .. For more detail and other news go to the News Page of the Protect Your Waters Campaign.
    .. A sad note from the Seattle Times details the upward migration of toxins in the food chain of the Columbia River. With the focus on salmon and dams this is playing second fiddle - perhaps it needs more attention.

    .. MidCurrent pointed us toward an article about our neighbors in Craig, Montana. This is "Big Water" fishing on the Missouri - and sure to please.
    .. Collateral Damage has discovered how the Japanese are dealing with terrorists by using fish.
    .. Urban Fly Fishing On The Kelvin is no easier in the heat than it is around here.
    .. We just discovered that the non-fishers at GetOutdoors are in need of fishing lessons to get their rod up. They have politely asked for lessons in the art of fly fishing. We are pleased to comply: First, they should go to Fly Fishing For Beginners and read every page - this will answer many questions. Second, they should then travel to the Montana State Fishing Guide, to explore where it is that they might enjoy fishing, perhaps they might get an idea about what fish they might want to catch while they are there. Third, we would discourage them from selecting the area around West Yellowstone, Montana, or Island Park, Idaho - they might bump into a surly guide, (should they venture this far afield we recommend the Yellowstone Park Newbie Guide.) Finally, (for this lesson,) they should dump the stuff they were touting as "fly gear" into the garbage disposal. We will continue the lessons next time with suggestions about equiptment - no charge, no fee, no gratuity!

    .. Artist Monty Dolack has produced a new license plate for vehicles registered in Montana. The plate features the Montana State Fish - The Cutthroat Trout. Dolack noted that, "The trout on the plate is taken from a poster I did several years ago to celebrate the Nature Conservancy's work on the Big Blackfoot River. It portrays a big, beautiful westslope cutthroat trout in a clean and clear river."